The Corner

This “Stark Choice” Business

Andrew Sullivan is among the folks who say that they would like Dean to win the nomination so as to present voters with a stark choice on the war on terrorism. The country is divided on the question, there’s nothing more important being debated in American politics, so let’s have it out. There’s something to be said for this view, although I don’t think I share it. But then there’s this, also from Sullivan: “Howard Dean has now formally reneged on his December 15 pledge to premise U.S. foreign policy on U.N. permission. Now he’s saying: ‘We are not going to give the United Nations veto power over our foreign policy.’ Better. He’s also clearly maneuvring to reverse himself on raising taxes on the middle class. Better still.” I don’t get it. Don’t these moves on Dean’s part make the election choice less stark? Shouldn’t Sullivan (and Kristol) want him to say he wants to disband the army and raise taxes to 70 percent? Then we’d really have a stark choice.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.